Today is the Day, Was the Day, I’m Upside Down

I feel upside down sometimes, need change
I feel upside down sometimes, need change

Something weird happened to my post yesterday. Somehow another blogpost, a reblog from another blogger got attached to this post and it all got mucked up. Things got all upside down.

Here’s the original post….

Today, the other day really, is/was the day to re-connect with Gloria after an absence of, what, a year?

Gloria, is/was, my counselor. She helped me with a number of things, not the least of which was my depressive moods. That is perhaps a polite way of saying I was going through a depression.

I say ‘was’ because I think or hope, and pray, I am through it, at least the worst part of it. That being said my previous post would lead me to question that.

Bottom line is I was a little disappointed by the reunion. If you ever read this Gloria I’ll apologize in advance, it’s likely more my issue than yours and first off I probably shouldn’t be apologizing for my feelings anyway. Just seemed to be the polite thing to do.

My experience in our last session is likely clouded by my interpretation of interpersonal relations, those being of a somewhat coloured point of view which may or not be accurate. I need to temper my perceptions with the realities of life. Not everyone is intrigued with what I have to say, or have said, I had just hoped what I had said and done in past sessions would have been recalled with a little less effort and prompting on my part. Again, maybe I should apologize, this isn’t really the venue for critiquing after the fact, I was a full participant and could have spoken up to lay out my concerns at any time. I didn’t, my bad, ‘nuf said.

At any rate…….

My car is in the Honda hospital this afternoon and I thought I’d take the opportunity and alone time to have a beer while I waited (not at the garage) and do some blogging. Being that I go most places with some type of electronic device capable of posting that would be pretty easy, you’d think.

I arrived without incident at the pub, a short walk from the shop, and sat down to do my business. It just didn’t come, the words never arrived. And they never came with me, I was alone with my thoughts and without the ability to articulate them. No words, no post.

I did have my journal with me as well, and that’s something that doesn’t occur that frequently. This day it did. Perhaps paper writing would fit the bill.

A few words created with pen to paper must’ve started the creative juices flowing because I was able to put down some thoughts in my morning/afternoon pages but not the words I had trapped inside me. Many of those are still there, waiting to be broken free and see the light of day. But some did make it to paper and the inspiration to post as well came through.

So here I am, no epiphanies, but some thoughts nonetheless. As the previous post “What’s Wrong With Me?” impled, original post here, I am in a bit of a funk. Words are not free flowing, perhaps disjointed, but the words are here regardless.

Today was the day, it IS the day. I plan to enjoy it regardless.

Happy Valentine’s Day

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I bumped into Gloria today. Well, I didn’t really ‘bump’ into her, but you know what I mean. I saw her, in Safeway.

At first sighting I didn’t recognize her. I was approaching the Starbucks counter to order my grande Americano, and chatting with my daughters friend, when I glanced toward the door and saw this lady that seemed somehow familiar. Now in hindsight I’m almost embarrassed to admit that but it has been about a year, or close to it, and in my defense I think she changed her hair colour, so that may have thrown me off. Funny I didn’t know her right off the bat because my previous relationship with her was a significant chapter in my life.

I started ‘seeing’ her maybe 2 or more years ago now. I am married but we met with my wife’s consent, she’s understanding that way.

Now, before you get the wrong idea I had best explain.

A few years ago I had finally reached the end of my long emotional rope, particularly at work. I felt depressed, unappreciated, and generally unhappy, so I went to my doctor to seek advice. Well, he interviewed me, gave me a questionnaire to fill out at home, then sent me packing to the hospital for a number of tests. Once I had completed the questionaire and the test results had come back to his office we had a second visit. There was nothing conclusive he said, nothing really abnormal or standing out that could cause me to feel that way. He had thought thyroid perhaps, or some vitamin deficiency, but I was normal, or healthy even. He recommended exercise, and perhaps avail myself of the ability to seek counselling, perhaps through my works EFAP (employee and family assistance) program. I did, and it was through that system I met Gloria. She became my counselor/therapist.

Healing
Healing

So to make a long story short we met for some time, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly how long, but she has helped me in a number of ways. In almost every session I came away with something to think about, and some of them I’m still thinking about. I miss our sessions.

Bumping into her in Safeway I will take as a sign, as a signal that I need to re-connect.

I’m a big believer in fate, in the thought that things happen for a reason, that there are circumstances that are presented to us and if we see them, if we recognize them for what they are, they can lead us down the right road. They can guide us toward making the ‘right’ decisions, perhaps to choosing one avenue over another, and that one/correct way will lead us to the light (and no, I’ve not been smoking crack).

My sign today was seeing Gloria. She makes me remember from whence I came, my path, and the healing I’ve done. I’m close to the end of my journey and I feel so much better. I still have a ways to go but the healing has begun.

Acting, Not Being

In my last post “Well Lit, Dark Place” I talked about being in a dark place, about being emotionally alone or socially disconnected.  Perhaps my comments and the title were a bit misleading as the intent of the comment was much more figurative than actual.  I’m not really in such as dark place as was interpreted, more a place that is dark in the sense that I wish I were not there, alone and feeling I’m without connection to others.

I refered to Dexter, the main character of television series about a disturbed man, his emotional pain being the result of witnessing his mother butchered (literally).  A quote from Wikipedia describes it like this:

 “Dexter believes that he has no emotions, and he has to work non-stop to appear normal and blend in with the other people around him”.

I must make it clear though, it’s only some of these similarities with Dexter I can relate to, I (in no possible way) feel like I need to go out and murder or hurt someone, including myself.  I just feel disconnected

I can play the part though, I can act happy when not, or put on a friendly face when I don’t feel it, and that is what concerns me.  People have no more of an idea of who I really am than I do.  I often feel numb, unable to connect with those near me, scared to reveal who I really am or what I truly feel. I’m in disguise. It’s like I have a secret identity, like a super hero, except I’m not ‘super’.

I sometimes lack true emotion yet at other times I have more emotion, more happiness or sadness than I can bear. Am I blocking the real, continous feeling to prevent myself from being hurt? Where does this come from? Why?  Where am I going?

Some time back I wrote a post about adapting, this is something my counselor Gloria informed me of.  Essentially adapting is putting on a front, or becoming like a chameleon and changing your stripes to fit the environment.  Adapting to the circumstances and putting on a front whether you truly feel it or not.  The trouble is that Adapting can be exhausting.  Perhaps this is partially why I often prefer being alone, no adapting required.

I’m think I’m hiding, hiding in plain site, unable to reach out.  That’s why I feel like I’m in the dark, but recognizing and accepting it provides illumination.

Dad’s Day is Here Again

Today is a “Dad” day, where I will pick him up and we will do something.  In this case it’s his Eye Specialist appointment, and we’ve only been waiting for a couple months.  I shouldn’t make it sound like a negative thing, I guess here in BC waiting for specialists of any kind is commonplace and to expect otherwise would be hopeful.  I had to rattle the optometrists cage a bit in order to get the referral, they said the appropriate documentation was sent from their end but it seemed an inordinate amount before I could get a confirmation from the specialist.  At any rate it is done now and we will get his eyes checked this afternoon.

Afterwards we will meet with my wife and we’ll do the dinner thing.  It’s been a while since she’s seen Dad, she’s just busy with other things when my other Dad visits come around.  We both want to try and maximize our visits with him, hard to say how much longer we’ll have him.

I’m curious as to which direction the specialist will go with Dad, being as he’s 81.  One position could be to say “hey, he’s 81 and had a good life, why do anything”, but a more humane or human direction would be to say “hey, he’s 81 and had a good life, let’s fix him up and make the last years better”.  Stay tuned for the answer in the next episode.

I’ve been feeling a bit better now my medication dosage has been bumped up.  Still not up to where I was a couple months ago, from a feelins’ and emotions point of view, but better than a week or 2 ago.  Is it the meds or is it something else, like weather, diet, lack of exercise or daylight?  I just know I felt pretty shitty emotionally, wanting to cry at times and generally unhappy.  Hell of a way to live.

I see Gloria, my therapist, tomorrow.  I don’t know what we’ll talk about, perhaps we’ll discuss the online quiz I took about “My Top Strengths”, from the book “Strengths Finder 2.0”.  I don’t recall if I mentioned them previously but the results came out to “Connectedness, Intellection, Empathy, Individualization, and Strategic”.  I’m not sure what I think of the results, nor could I explain them in 20 words or less, but it was an interesting process to complete and hopefully I can take one nugget from it….

So bottom line there’s nothing profound to report, I wish I could say something you’d go “Wow” about but not today.  Stay tuned for further revelations.

Thoughts of Shawn… Only if.

The snow is falling, or what could be loosely described as snow. Maybe dust, white powder dust would be more appropriate, almost like large flakes of flour. The kind of dust that you barely glimpse, but can see when the sunshine catches them as it’s rays filters through the window. This same white powder fell on the day Shawn died, a day I’d not soon want to re-live.  An ethereal day.

I wrote this as I sat waiting for my appt with Gloria, my counselor, but she approached me soon after and said “Come on in Dwayne, how are you doing?”  It’s funny, the thought of Shawn, or his passing, wasn’t forefront on my mind as she asked me that question, but was only moments before.  My thoughts of him come and go, depending on circumstances and mood.

It’s coming up on 11 years since his untimely death, January 18th of 2000 to be exact.  The closer we get to that date, or his birthday in October, the more his life (and death) surface in our minds.  Often it brings back some guilt on my part, none that I’ve mentioned to Gloria though, and even though I can rationalize my way through it the nagging thoughts of “only if” are still there and still pull at my heart.  Only if, 2 isolated words that when put together have more power over us than so many others.  Only if.

Is that all there is?

This afternoon I will have another visit with Gloria, my counsellor.  I don’t really know what we’ll talk about, it always seems to be a dynamic event.  Sometimes I feel good going in and other days, well, not as good.

I wish I knew how I was supposed to feel emotionally, I mean I know I’m supposed to feel good, normal, or not bad, at least most of the time.  I also know everyone has ups and downs, good days and bad, but without the scale of where the uppermost “up” is I can only tell you where I’ve been. Sometimes that doesn’t seem very far “up”.  I do have days where I feel good, pretty good in fact, is that all there is?

After our session I’ll pick up Dad and we’ll go for dinner.  I’m thinking perhaps Chinese food, it was good the last time we had it and he enjoyed it, but he may not even remember.  I know that sounds kind of callous, but it’s also true.  He forgets more and more now and I’m surprised sometimes that he even remembers my name.  Certainly he’s forgotten when my birthday is, and maybe that’s normal all things considered, he never was a good one for dates.

It reminds me of a time when we went to a family reunion about 25 years ago.  At that time my Dad’s Mom, my grandmother, was suffering from dementia and after we arrived he went into the house to see her.  He came out a short time later and told us she didn’t know his name, she thought that he was her brother.  The similarity in looks was significant for sure but still his heart must’ve been broken.  I know mine would have been.

Survived another trip

Well we’ve made it back from camping in one piece.  As I suspected the crankiness wore off, I’m not even sure why I felt that way in the fist place.  My knickers were too tight perhaps.

I did a bit more reading of The Gifted Adult and it has some compelling descriptions, some of how I see myself.  One in particular talks of a gentlemen who feels angry inside, but he hides it well and no one is the wiser.

  • He sits in meetings and wonders how they can go over the same things over and over again without coming to a conclusion or making a decision.
  • He wants to stand up and yell.
  • Co-worker’s eyes glaze over when he talks of fresh ideas, and yet some time later they come up with the same concept and it is somehow their epiphany.

I can so relate.

I’m currently at the chapter where the author discusses the gifted persons need for self actualization, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I do feel like I should be accomplishing something, most days I feel like I’m spinning my wheels.  I hate coming to work, it’s mind numbing (almost spelled dumbing, how’s that for a Freudian slip?).  I’m sure I could find things in my job to challenge me but I have no interest, I’m tired of being here and cannot rouse even the smallest interest in growing my position.  Some of this may be the depression, I think it’s more that I’m just plain tired of being here.

I often think of leaving my job, taking retirement and damning the consequences.  The financial hit could be considered substantial in some books, but I also think that if I would then be happy it would all be worth it.  Isn’t that the way it should be?  I believe I am trapped by my belongings, my things. They often seem to own me as opposed to me owning them.  But I am afraid, and as a result I do nothing except lament what could be.  This may be a topic for me to discuss with Gloria.

Can’t pull myself away

I’m sitting here, along with my wife, in front of the tv and wanting something different. Why can’t I pull myself away? I’m obviously not watching, but I am still hearing the dialogue and still taking in some of the goings on, enough that I know my focus is not on what I am doing. I am literally of two minds. One is listening (partially) to the tv and the other working on this blog.

In light of what I said in my last post about intensity I must be daft. It takes me back to school days where I would argue that I could watch tv and study at the same time. It is draining me on some level and much like watching a horror movie I can’t pull myself away.

I was talking to the Assisted Living Coordinator at Dads new home the other day and found her comments interesting regarding her work/home life balance. She was running pillar to post at work and I asked her if it was always like that, and what does she do to come down when she goes home?  She said she loves to read but when she gets home she’s too up, too wired to relax and take up a book. I can totally relate. Gloria thought perhaps in my case it’s because at work I adapt, essentially putting up a facade or front between me and work life. Unfortunately it requires energy to do so, much like a forcefield requires energy to maintain it’s shield. Then of course when I get home the forcefield comes down but my batteries are drained.

So here we are, full circle, at home with drained batteries and unable to pull myself away from the mindless sponge of television. Woe is me!

To adapt, or not to adapt, That is the question.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, and it’s only hours away now.  We are camping about 20 min. away and I’ve been commuting to/from work.  It’s not as bad as I thought, the drive is quite relaxing and doesn’t take long.  I should be using the time to think deep thoughts but not much of that has come to me lately.  I must be slightly “out of sync” with the cosmic forces.

We will stay until Sunday or Monday being that Monday is a stat, and if the weather holds.  Family has been invited out on Saturday for a bar-b-que, hopefully a low key event.  I”m not much for get-togethers, my non-social side wins out in that regard.  I say non-social because I’m not against the socializing, it’s just something that I don’t often want to get involved with.  Little of the conversations stimulate or interest me and if I try to put on much of a happy face I find it very draining.  Gloria said it may be because in circumstances like that I am adapting to the situation, and it’s the effort to adapt that tires me out.  As a result I’ll often have some alcohol to chill me out, perhaps not the most appropriate response but effective.

Good Morning, as in “a good morning”

Woke up feeling better this morning, always have some morning grog but it turned around after a bit and now all is good. I wasn’t feeling horrible yesterday but like my wife said it was like my knickers were too tight, I was just feeling edgy. I think a lot of it was the stress of yesterday and my dealing with Dads affairs, and associated delays and complications. I often wonder what my capacity is for stress, do I handle it well? ie does stress affect me more or less than others?

I notice the sun shining today, a cool breeze is evident now, at 8:30 am, and the potential is in the air for inclement weather. I’m not desiring to become a meteorologist only commenting on observations as G suggested I do.

I’m sitting in the waiting area, the hall, of the Radiology department waiting to go in for my CT scan. It was ordered for me in hopes of coming to conclusions about what’s going on with my lower back and thigh/groin pain. I notice the other patients both old and young, and looking out the window across the alley, over the garbage bins, I see through the opposite window the lab techs hard at work testing whatever they test. I don’t know that my observation skills are particularly astute, and thinking about it these observations are not likely what G had in mind. What would probably be more appropriate would be my commenting on things in my life that I’m more aware of now than I would have been prior to my course of treatments, post meds and counseling.  Time to go in for my scan.

Ciao